Reasons why Zimbabwe's education was affected from 2008 to 2009?
1 year ago
Thousands of Zimbabwean teachers have gone on strikes, joined teacher unions and left the profession in recent years over low salaries, poor working conditions, political victimization and violence. Teacher unions including the Progressive Teacher's Union of Zimbabwe organize strikes to catalyze salary negotiations and better working conditions. In the first decade of the 21st century, 45,000 out of 100,000 teachers in the country left the profession.
Marked by a time period of hyperinflation, teachers were one of the lowest paid professions in the 2000s, receiving the equivalence of $10 US dollars for every three months of teaching. Their salaries in 2009 were as low as one US dollar for every month of teaching with grocery vouchers worth $100 USD per month. Thousands of teachers protested, left public education and migrated to other countries in response to the economic crisis. During a year-long strike from 2008 to 2009, teachers demanded higher salaries paid in international currency. This strike led to nearly 94 percent of all rural schools closing and school attendance rates fell from 80 percent to 20 percent
Many teachers joined the informal economy, or the black sector, during the economic crisis. They participated in cross-border trading with Botswana and South Africa because civil servants were not required to have visas at the time. Teachers would use their off time during the year to hoard goods from other countries and resell them in Zimbabwe to earn a livable living that their teaching salaries did not satisfy.
In 2009, the national economy stabilized because of the actions taken by the newly established Government of National Unity (GNU). The GNU enacted the dollarization of the national economy which curved the effects of hyperinflation and the informal economy. The GNU also allocated every civil servant, including teachers, the equivalent of $100 US dollars.[ Teachers were encouraged to reenter the profession and move back to Zimbabwe, but thousands never returned and found higher-paying positions elsewhere.